STORY: First time volunteer

Red Cross shelters are almost fully staffed by volunteers. These caring and dedicated individuals spend countless hours (some have been there for 12-hour shifts), caring for those who have arrived at the shelter in Bethlehem, Pa.

Many of the volunteers have also lost electricity in their own homes, yet they arrive at the shelter ready to assist those who are in need.

Sue Dietrich, a licensed clinical social worker of Olivewood Counseling, is a first-time volunteer.  After spending four hours on the evening of October 29 working at the Red Cross shelter in Bethlehem, she was overwhelmed at the sense of community she felt while she was there.

“I was amazed at the kindness people showed toward each other.  Everyone pitched in,” said Dietrich. “Whether it was the gentleman who put himself in charge of making sure there was always water available, to the mother who arrived with her adult daughter and granddaughter whose electricity had gone out, the sense of community far surpassed any feelings of worry and fear.”

Dietrich’s duties included addressing physical needs like making sure those who arrived had a hot meal and a cot; in addition to addressing clients’  emotional needs from going through a traumatic experience and tending to individual coping skills.

She looks forward to returning to the shelter, if needed, and becoming a registered Red Cross volunteer. 


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